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Williamsport powers past North

May 07, 2001

Williamsport powers past North



By DAN SPEARS

dans@herald-mail.com

Williamsport 18

North 8

North004310-898

Williamsport203445-18142

One out in sixth when final run scored.

Hose, Poffenberger (4), Johnson (5) and Long. Embly and Naile. WP-Embly (5-2). LP-Hose (2-2). HR-N: Hess (3rd, none on), Johnson (3rd, one on), Long 2 (3rd, none on; 5th, none on); W: Naile 3 (1st, none on; 4th, none on; 6th, two on), Hoover (1st, none on), Allen 2 (5th, one on; 6th, one on), McAllister (3rd, two on).



WILLIAMSPORT - Nobody could have said that Friday's Williamsport-North Hagerstown baseball game ended the wrong way.

After all, when Matt Allen's three-run homer in the bottom of the sixth capped an 18-8 victory for the Wildcats, it was the final salvo in a record-setting 11-home run day.

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"I don't know ... it was just the day to be here," said Williamsport shortstop Brent Hoover, who had one of the bombs and finished 5-for-5. "This is the game I've been waiting for all year. ... I mean, it's North."

It was the game Williamsport coach Rod Steiner waited about 20 hours for.

"I've never been so embarrassed as I was yesterday," Steiner said of Williamsport's 10-0 loss at Middletown. "The one thing we needed was to have character ... how would we come back from that?"

Williamsport (9-10, 7-10 MVAL) came out swinging. Gary Naile and Hoover led off the bottom of the first with back-to-back homers. As the top of the order, the twosome is supposed to set the table for the rest of the lineup.

They set the table all right, and they feasted at it as well. Naile hit three homers, Hoover scored all five times and Allen had a pair of two-run homers from the No. 3 spot. It all added up to numbers of staggering proportions - 10-for-12, six homers and 11 RBI.

"I think having some family here helped," said Naile, one of seven Wildcats seniors honored before the game. "It feels good to do that with your grandma watching."

After Naile's leadoff homer, one mother yelled out that, "Everybody should get one today," and she wasn't that far off from the truth. Williamsport needed every last one of its seven homers, because North (9-8, 7-8) hit four of its own to turn it into the biggest slugfest in Maryland prep history.

The 11 home runs - in only 5 1/3 innings of play - are tied for seventh-most in U.S. high school play, according to the National Federation of State High School Associations record book. None of the games ahead of this one were played in Maryland.

"When it gets hot and humid here, the ball just jumps out," North coach Shawn Reynolds said. "It's always been that way. But give them credit, they hit the heck out of the ball."

The Hubs took a 4-2 lead in the top of the third on, naturally, three homers by Matt Hess, Matt Johnson and Bobby Long. Williamsport regained the lead in the bottom of half on - surprise! - Adam McAllister's three-run bomb. North yanked back a 7-5 lead on a pair of doubles in the fourth, but Williamsport used Naile's second homer (no kidding?) and Eric Fitzgerald's RBI single for a 9-7 lead.

North made one last charge on the longest homer of the day, Long's second homer in the fifth, but Naile and Allen warmed up from there to end things loudly.

And quiet all the bad talk from just one day before.

"This was a good way to get ourselves to start a new streak," Naile said. "We feel like we're new again."

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